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What place for PE? The meaning of Physical Education within school children’s lives

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Within the UK there has been increased government focus on issues of health, particularly in relation to children. In line with this, schools have increasingly been looked to as vehicles through which to address public health outcomes. This has resulted in increased funding to support physical education (PE) provision, particularly within primary schools. Indeed, the UK government have ring-fenced funding for schools to use solely on developing and increasing the quality of their curricular PE provision. In July 2017, this funding was increased effective from September 2017 to 2020, making this study most timely with consideration of current educational policy/legislation.

Government reports (e.g.the House of Commons Education Committee (2013-14) and the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood (2016)) indicate that the aspiration of central government is for all school-age children to be healthy, active and have access to high quality PESS. When coupled with the National Curriculum for PE (NCPE), the reports mentioned illustrate what it means to be physically educated from a policy perspective, but this may not necessarily reflect what it means to be physically educated from a child’s perspective.

The aim of this study is, therefore, to explore pupils’ perspectives on what it means to be ‘physically educated’ and the place of PE within their lives. The study therefore might look to draw upon participatory methods to engage with primary school pupils to explore what PE means (or could mean) to them and the implications for their ‘health’.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Sport and Exercise Science, Sport, Physical Education and Coaching or a related subject.

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Sport and Exercise Science, Sport, Physical Education and Coaching, Sociology of Sport or a related subject.
Experience of work within a school is desirable.

Preferred start dates: 1 April 2019, 1st July 2019, 1st October 2019 or 1st January 2020


All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select: ‘School of Sport, Exercise and Health Science', with reference SSEHS/JLS

Funding Notes

UK/EU Fee band :
2018/19: £4,260
2019/20: TBC

International Fee band :
2018/19: £20,500
2019/20: £21,100


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